Tag Archives: Addiction

HAVING AN EXPIRATION DATE

I’ve been past my “suicide” phase for years now. I still think about it on really bad days but not like I used to when I self-medicated with alcohol. When I self-medicated with alcohol I didn’t just think about it. I’ve been sober close to 10 years now.

Seeing the results of my blood work I was scared. I didn’t know my kidneys were getting worse so fast. They use your GFR to determine when you should go on dialysis or go on the list for a kidney transplant. When the number hits 30 your Doctor starts preparing you for your options.

My GFR was a 40 one year ago. I kept putting off going in for surgery to have my ureteral stents changed. Part of the reason was the Depressive Episode I was in for a very long time. The other part was just fear. You know when something is wrong with your body. I knew I was losing weight again but there was some swelling in my feet and ankles. The color of skin is the same as chalk but with dark circles under my eyes. I’ve lost muscle mass specifically in my temples. I didn’t notice how bad until this morning. They are so hollowed out I could collect rain in them. I’ve been a little short of breath and having trouble doing simple tasks.

I’m pretty sure I won’t make it on a transplant list. I checked again today. If you have a mental illness, a past history of drug/alcohol abuse, or an autoimmune disease, you usually have a hard time getting on the list. I have all three. I have twin who could donate her kidney but before I could ask I was told she wouldn’t. She had to think of her children. Pretty sure her husband had a big influence on this decision.

Because no one knows why I went into Kidney Failure, or why my kidneys are getting worse, no one is sure about dialysis. My other option is to have a tube coming out of each side of my back just under my shoulder blades. The tube would drain fluids out of my system and goes down each leg. Someone has to learn how to clean and change the drains which I don’t have anyone to do this.

Before I make any big decisions I’ll go to my appointment on Tuesday and see how much longer I can keep the stents. If they don’t send me to the ER then I’m going on a Road Trip to Deep Ellum, Texas. I don’t care what anyone says. I have limited time to do what I wanted to do. So I’m going to try it. What’s the worse that could happen? lol

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IF NOTHING CHANGES

Sitting here day after day with little human interaction is becoming both difficult and easier to do. When I do get the chance to talk to someone I actually get a sore throat if it’s for longer than 10 minutes. Luckily for me it rarely is.

I want to change my situation but I’m scared to death to do so. I also feel guilty about leaving my Dad.

I try to remember that he has already lived a full life. He’s travelled all over, done some pretty exciting things, found and married his soulmate, had two children with her, lived, laughed, and loved her for over 45 years. He has 5 grandchildren that love him but he doesn’t see them because he feels guilty that my mom isn’t here to be with them. I find this ridiculous. I also think it’s more about his hearing than anything. He can’t understand what they’re saying so he doesn’t interact with them.

His hearing has become a huge problem. He refuses to do anything about it. He used to love to watch movies with me. He stopped a few years ago because he couldn’t hear the dialogue no matter how loud it was. He has a habit of just agreeing to what a person is saying when he has no idea what was said. This isn’t good when it comes to his dialysis and health. I finally called the dialysis center and told them he can’t hear what they’re saying and is just agreeing with them. They had no idea after the years he’s been there.

I also told them that he isn’t following a renal diet at all and if he says he is he’s lying. I gave them the correct dosage of Prednisone he’s taking because he told them 10mg when it’s 40mg. They need to know these things!! He get’s pissed off and leaves early because his TV isn’t working. It isn’t about the TV, it’s about him feeling anxious so bad he HAS to leave. I told them this also.

I did this because for the last week he’s come home with feet and ankles so swollen they look like wax. They don’t look real. That’s how mine were when I went to the ER. Would he listen? No. Would my sister answer her phone? No.

I’m afraid if I change my environment things will stay the same. I’ll start to talk to someone and they will fall asleep while I’m talking or walk away. Both my dad and my sister fall asleep while talking to me. My dad walks away often.

Maybe I should record my voice reading a book and sell it as a natural sleep aid.

There are no words to describe how it feels when you’re ignored, dismissed, or on the opposite end yelled at for things beyond your control or still held accountable for mistakes you made 20 years ago.

Sometimes I don’t know what I want. I’ve seen the worst of humanity, I’ve been on the receiving end of  humanities worst, but for some reason I still crave human interaction. I still have hope. I just don’t know how much longer that little bit of hope will last.1c69ece744ce08e16a8cfc698acf0e23


WHAT MAKES YOU AN EXPERT ON MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION? *Sensitive Subject Matter

I am my father’s daughter. Like my father, when I find a subject I relate to or a hobby I enjoy, I learn everything I can about it. I don’t mean this in a normal way. My father never made it past the 8th grade but taught himself everything one needed to know about most animals specifically birds.

He taught himself how to breed Exotic Birds on The Endangered Species List and obtained a Federal Permit to do so. He was 1 of 11 people in the United States to successfully breed one species. He knew about diseases, diet, flight patterns, temperatures, everything.

I was born into a family filled with addicts and people with mental illness. I spent a lot time around all of them. Both my parents come from big families but mom’s side was a very close bunch and also very dysfunctional. My mom was the oldest and did her best to help her brothers and sisters no matter what. My sister and I always went with her even if that meant visits to the State Mental Hospital or a Group Home.

My sister and I always talked about one of us becoming “crazy” like it would be the worst thing in the world. It kind of was. I already knew it was me, my parents already knew it was me. The only one who didn’t see it was my twin sister. It would take her 20 years to admit I was sick.

I know all the ins and outs of being hospitalized against your will. I know what happens when you swallow a bottle of prescription sleeping pills after drinking a case of beer and a pint of Fire Water. If someone gets you to the Hospital early enough you get charcoal, which I did the first time. If you get there a little later they pump your stomach, which they did the 2nd time. If you fight them they also restrain you.

I know if you cut your wrists a certain way you can do permanent nerve damage. Which I did on one occasion so my pinkie is numb most of the time.

I know after so many visits to the ER for attempted suicides they can keep you and they did. No one came to talk to me or give me any tests, I sat and watched TV with all the other people who were either detoxing or had mental health issues.

I know after about 4 or 5 visits to the ER for attempted suicide a judge can court order you to undergo therapy and see a psychiatrist. I was court ordered several times but no one ever diagnosed me or asked many questions they just handed me a bucket of pills. This is common for State run facilities.

Every single time I tried to take my life I was drunk. I never tried sober. I thought about it sober but never acted on it.

People say “Why didn’t you ask for help?” I say “Because I was drunk, confused, couldn’t get out of my own head, all I could think was what a waste of space I am, how no one loved me, how could anyone love me?” When did I have time to stop and think “Gee I should probably call my sister who is sick of hearing me cry all the time”.

It doesn’t work that way. When you’re in the middle of a tornado you can’t think rationally and that’s the point.

I don’t know why people expect this.

We need to reach people before they get to the tornado.

It’s the only way this will work. If you know someone with a mental illness call them, invite them for coffee, tell them you love them, give them purpose, stop them before the snowball starts going downhill picking up those negative thoughts growing larger and larger.

I want to know I matter. I want to know I’m still loved even though I’ve f*cked up so many times. I want someone to hug me and tell me it’s ok even if it isn’t.

This is why I am more qualified to speak about mental health and addiction than any Doctor or Talk Show Host because I live it and I’m still here.quotes-about-strength-robin-williams-depression-quote-all-it-takes-is-a-beautiful-fake-smile-to-hide


I SEE YOU

I watched you on YouTube the other day. I was shocked but not surprised. I was more angry than anything. Seeing the blue lips, bloated face, under eye bags, and the bloated stomach made me want to cry or punch you in the face.

You’ve continuously lied about your sobriety throughout the years. I knew you probably lasted a month or two, something wouldn’t go your way and you would be back to where you started.

I also know that you believe drinking wine instead of Jack Daniels means you’re doing better or you’re not “that bad”. I also know that your drinking has cost you career opportunities, lost friendships, and drastically changed your appearance. In your business appearance is part of the job.

You use juvenile behavior and humor to cover up the pain you don’t want to deal with. I noticed this in the 90s when you first started to get into trouble.

No one wakes up and says “I love wine so much, it tastes so good that I think I’ll drink it all day until my lips and teeth are permanently stained blue, I lose my looks, my career, friends and family”.

We drink because there’s a pain or something missing that we don’t know how to explain or deal with. Whether it’s grief, abuse, mental illness, etc. it’s there and instead of recognizing it we self medicate. Sometimes we aren’t capable of recognizing it. We something isn’t right, we different than other people, but we don’t know why and are afraid to find out. It’s easier to self medicate than deal with the real issues.

In the back of my mind I knew from young age I was different. Who wants to admit that they aren’t “normal”? No one. You do whatever you can to fit in no matter the damage it causes.

You will never get better if you don’t ask WHY you started drinking or using drugs in the first place. What were you feeling that first time? I know what I was feeling at that exact moment. I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t pretty, I couldn’t talk, I didn’t look like other girls, I was too quiet, no one was going to like me, I was fat, everyone was going to laugh at me, I could go on and on. After my first few drinks all of those thoughts and feelings vanished.

It’s difficult watching people going down that same self destructive road. I can’t exactly contact them and tell them what I think. First they would think I was insane and it doesn’t work that way.

For some people there is no “rock bottom”. They will drink themselves to death. I would’ve. I had plenty of moments that for anyone else would have been “rock bottoms” yet I continued drinking.

The one thing that helped me to stop was learning why I was drinking.

Once I was diagnosed as Bipolar w/Social Anxiety Disorder and PTSD I finally understood why I felt the way I did from such a young age. I had stopped drinking before my diagnosis but it was extremely difficult. I was staying sober by locking myself in the house. It was no way to live. Finding out there was an underlying reason made a huge difference.

I won’t say I’m in a great place now because I’m not. But it has more to do with my physical health interfering with my mental health. At least I know what the problem is and know how to deal with it.

 


MENTAL HEALTH~ EVERYONE HAS A TELL

I don’t know about other people with Mental Health issues but I know I have specific signs or symptoms when I’m in a dark place. I’ve noticed them in other people and found out later that they are diagnosed as Bipolar or have Social Phobia or both.

What I do and what I’ve seen other people do is the following.

I stop talking or keeping in touch with people.

I tap my foot, rock back and forth, or do some sort of soothing repetitive action.

I hold my head a lot like I have a headache.

I stare at nothing but a million thoughts will be running through my mind. None of them positive.

I have a harder time concentrating or remembering things.

I have trouble leaving the house.

I isolate myself.

I don’t eat much.

I don’t take care of myself physically even if I’m sick I’ll ignore it.

I look for ways to feel worse.

My eyes are dull and I don’t really smile. If I do it isn’t real.

I have no ambition to do anything.

I feel like I want to go home. Like I’m in the wrong place.

No one ever really notices when I’m at my worse. I guess they’re just used to it so they leave me alone. How I could possibly be any more alone than I already am I don’t know.

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND MENTAL HEALTH

Social Media has become toxic for me. I’m an emotional person or someone who doesn’t have great control of their emotions. I often respond to comments or what I see immediately without thinking. Later I over think about how I responded.

Was my response too much? Did I sound crazy? Am I now Blocked or Muted? I then worry so much my daily headache becomes a sledgehammer and my stomach is in knots. All of this over responses on social media that half the time most people don’t read.

Then I get upset thinking that no one is reading my comments or cares what I have to say. I don’t matter.

Then I have the other problem of when someone responds to what I’ve written and it happens to be a known musician. I can’t be happy about it because I know the trolls are coming. And sure enough I’ll have a message in my DM box supposedly from the musician who liked something I wrote except it’s not really them!!

This pisses me off to no end. It took 2 months to get rid of fake Steven Tyler. Not one person from Mr. Tyler’s team could take a second to say “Yes we know about this guy and we’re handling it”. If John 5 can do it I think Steven Tyler has enough people to do it also.

I shouldn’t have to teach myself hacking and private investigating skills to take care of the situation myself. This person got my cell number, I was receiving 10 texts a night. I would block them and he would get around it, all the while insisting he was Steven Tyler.

The person was relentless. He didn’t want money, a bank account number, social security number, or anything else he just kept saying he wanted “true love”. He’s more delusional than I am if he thought that was the way to go about it.

What was making me angry was watching all the women that honestly believed he was Steven Tyler. I’m suspicious by nature and have major trust issues so I wasn’t going to fall for it unless he showed up in a private jet at walked out of it as the real Steven Tyler. I’m not an idiot. Unfortunately when you’re honest about mental illness and addiction people assume you are.

All of a sudden they talk louder and slower like I’m hard of hearing and 5 years old. Sometimes I laugh and sometimes I feel an itch in my right palm because I want to punch them. It’s worse when doctors do it.

I was on Twitter looking up Antique Clock Dealers when for some reason James Woods showed up. I’ve seen him at auctions but not for clocks so I clicked on his Twitter account to see if he changed hobbies. Bad idea.

I should’ve known I would be subjected to Mr. Woods political opinions. The big one was how many “Millions of children have been murdered by abortion in the last 40 years”. Now I’m pretty sure he hasn’t adopted any children, I’m also sure he can’t even take his mother’s dog to PetSmart without being rude and condescending to woman at the counter. I’ve also seen him literally push an elderly man out of his way during an auction. He messed with the wrong old guy because he got sharp elbow in the ribs for his bad behavior. I laughed. (It was my Dad doing the elbowing) I was going to comment on his Twitter account but I was able to control myself. Yay!

Last week I listened to Dark Matter Radio with Dave Navarro except Dave wasn’t there. The group was discussing homeless people and how they probably make more money than they do by panhandling. Some other comments were made. I admit it hit a nerve.

I wrote to them discreetly a story about a man with Schizophrenia who never panhandled. He did odd jobs for an old man that owned a gas station. He chose to be homeless because being forced to take the medications that made him grind his teeth, drool, and shake uncontrollably was too much. Yes, he self-medicated with Heroin for years and contracted HIV. He lived many years with HIV until 2 years ago when he passed away from AIDS related pneumonia. I explained that this man was kind, generous, and funny. His favorite joke was “What’s black and white, black and white, black and white?” I would say “What?” already knowing the answer “A nun falling down the stairs!” He would laugh like a little kid and hug me goodbye. He was my Uncle. I loved him.

I wanted them to see homeless people in different way. I received a response of “Thanks for sharinf” Yup, it was spelled wrong. Who knows who read it but I doubt it was the people who needed to.

As a side note, my Dad told me yesterday he didn’t think he was ever really capable of loving another person. I asked him “Not anyone? Your mother? Sisters or brothers?”. He said “Maybe my mother but that’s it”. No mention of my mother, or his children. How am I supposed to deal with that? My sister said it was my own fault for talking to him. I don’t get it. So I’m on my own. I can’t really enjoy anything lately. Even music makes things worse or I feel let down somehow. Feelin’ broke can’t get fixed.steven-tyler-womens-shelter-920x584dave-navarro


THE BEAST INSIDE

Sometimes I want to rage at everyone, all the liars, the manipulators, the insensitive ones, the ones who can’t look me in the eye or make time for me.

It was easy when I drank to release the beast inside. I screamed, threw things, swung my fists at the nearest offender.

The problem is there will always be a bigger, badder, beast than you. When that day comes it changes you.

You swallow any anger, rage, resentment, fear, sadness, for as long as you can. You are too afraid to release any of it because of that one moment you were crushed, broken into a million pieces.

There was nothing left of you after that. Your smile never quite reached your eyes again, your laughter sounded forced, fake, at least to your own ears. No one else noticed you just going through the motions. No one noticed how jumpy you became when a door slammed or voices were raised. How you had to have your back to a wall so you could see every person coming and going. NO ONE NOTICED.

They now notice a sliver of the beast creeping out here and there. Eventually you get full, you can only swallow so much.

What happens when the beast is set completely free? Self-destruction is the only hand I have left to play.

Everyone has gone. I stayed silent too long or not long enough depending on who you ask.

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ABOVE GROUND CHARITY EVENT MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION INFORMATION

The Above Ground Charity Event is being presented by Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison in partnership with Revolver Gallery. The event is to raise awareness and funds for the treatment of mental health. Two iconic albums will be played in their entirety with an all star band and special guests. The event takes place at The Belasco Theater 1050 S. Hill St. Los Angeles, CA, Monday April 16th. Tickets are on sale now from ticketmaster and livenation. Proceeds donated to MusiCares.

This is an event I would love to attend. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea. My physical health isn’t the greatest but I could also feel worse because of my environment. I have flown to California alone before but I’ve never spent time alone there. It’s a decision making time and I’m not good at decisions. lol

MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION INFORMATION AND STATISTICS (things you thought you knew but didn’t)

Roughly 50% of people with a severe mental illness are also affected by substance abuse.

What is considered “severe mental illness”?

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Mental Illness is caused by a combination of genetics (your family history), your environment, and other outside factors.

37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.

Alcohol and drug abuse are often used to self-medicate the symptoms of mental health problems that have gone undiagnosed. In the long term this worsens symptoms.

Evidence shows that people who abuse opioid painkillers are at greater risk of depression and marijuana users have an increased risk of psychosis.

Alcohol abuse increases the symptoms of mental illness or even triggers new symptoms, it also makes antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers less effective.

CO-OCCURRING DISORDERS QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • Do you use alcohol or drugs to cope with unpleasant memories or feelings, to control pain or the intensity of your moods, to face situations that frighten you, or to stay focused on tasks?
  • Have you noticed a relationship between your substance abuse and your mental health? EX: Do you get depressed when you drink?
  • Has someone in your family struggled with either a mental illness or alcohol/drug abuse?
  • Do you feel depressed or anxious even when you’re sober?
  • Do you have unresolved trauma or a history of abuse?
  • Do you ever feel guilty or ashamed about your alcohol/drug use?
  • Have you ever blacked out?
  • Has your alcohol/drug use gotten you into trouble with the law?
  • Has your alcohol/drug use caused problems with your friends/family?

TREATMENT

When looking for treatment make sure the program is licensed,  accredited and has  experience with your particular mental health issue.

The treatment addresses both substance abuse and mental health.

You share in the decision making process and are actively involved in the strategies used to help you cope with challenges and stress. It’s a waste of everyone’s time if you’re not going to do what’s suggested because you have trouble concentrating or memory issues. These things have to be shared and talked about so a program can be tailored to your specific needs.

I realize when I look at something in chart form or statistics I think it looks simple. Nothing is simple when it comes to mental health and addiction. If it was simple we wouldn’t have so many people dying.

Society is worried about gun violence when Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15-34 year olds. It’s 3rd among 10-14 year olds and the 10th leading cause of death overall.

There were 47,193 Suicides last year compared to 17,793 Homicides. I think the focus is on the wrong subject.

 


“SICKO”

When I hear people use words like “sicko”, “deranged”, “nut job” or other hurtful slang words to describe a person with a mental illness I cringe inside.

When I hear or read those words coming from the President of The United States I wonder if realizes or cares about the harm he’s doing and the added stigma he’s creating.

People who are diagnosed with a mental illness are not “monsters” to be feared or taken off the streets and institutionalized.

This is a fact, people with mental illness have more violence done to them than any other group in the United States.

40% of women with a mental illness have been raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 

Our answer to this is to make them feel worse about themselves? More ostracized? More frightened by society than they already are?

I find it disgusting.

If you’ve never had the chance to see the inside of a State run institution I suggest you check yourself in for a few days and let me know what you think. That is if they release you. If you lived in Rhode Island from 1950-1997 chances are you were put in an over crowded facility where you slept in a chair, on a table, or a floor. Look up just how many Pauper’s graves were found on the grounds of this lovely institution. Hundreds of thousands of unidentified human beings that were treated like animals.

You might ask how I know this for sure. My Grandmother was a Nurse there. She should’ve been a patient. My Uncle, her son, actually was a patient for a few years. How anyone could do that to their own child I’ll never know. I’m not too surprised because she later abandoned all 7 of them without a place to live. They lived in a chicken coop for some time.

You can look it up. It was called the Howard Center and the IMH in Cranston, Rhode Island. The newer facilities are not much better.

It’s difficult enough when people find out you’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar or Schizophrenia without the Government making it sound like we all want to kill or mame everyone we come into contact with.

I am part of that 40%. I have also been slapped, spit on, kicked, punched, thrown down stairs, had concussions, and other violence done against me. I thought I deserved it. I DON’T ANYMORE.

I’m not a doormat or a punching bag. I am a human being who is more sensitive than other people. I startle easily and I stutter when frightened or under stress. I love animals, my nephews, my dad, my twin sister, my brother, and I miss my mom more than anything in the world.

Am I capable of violence? I think the question should be who isn’t? Everyone has their breaking points. If someone was to hurt your child would you protect them with violence? I think most people would. Does this make you a “sicko”? No. It makes you human. Try to remember your humanity when you listen to or read whatever vile crap is being spewed by people in positions of power who don’t know when to be quiet.


12 STEPS TO INSANITY CONTINUED

Many people would not be able to stay sober without a 12 Step Program. I acknowledge this and accept it. I wish it went both ways. I have often been told that I “would never make it without a program”. I’ve been sober or in remission for over 9 years without a program. It isn’t for everyone.

I couldn’t handle being in a room filled with strangers and feeling their pain plus my own. I’m like a sponge that way. I also wasn’t hearing anyone say anything similar to my situation. No one admitted to drinking because they were afraid of meeting new people, afraid of talking to people, afraid to make friends, or just simply afraid.

No one admitted that at times they wanted to hurt themselves because they felt they didn’t belong anywhere. That they would look around a room and ask themselves “Why can’t I be like other people?” never feeling comfortable in their own skin. Or how much of a failure they felt like because the person that was born with them was able to do everything they couldn’t.

I can’t remember how many times I watched my twin sister and wondered if maybe there wasn’t a mistake made at the hospital. We were so different. Because we are twins people felt it was ok to comment on how different we were in front of us. I was always the fat, quiet one, she was always the thin, outgoing one. After years of hearing this it’s how you start to identify yourself too.

No one told stories of getting wasted and having sex with more than one guy in a night or waking up and not remembering if you had sex or not. There were no stories of hanging out with men who thought it was fun to make you cry or hit you. It was a group of men that for some reason wouldn’t let me go and I couldn’t get the courage to escape from for years. Some tried to help while others made things worse. Yes, I put myself in that situation because I thought I deserved it. I didn’t know I was sick or an alcoholic I just knew that at that time it was the best I could do. Secretly I hoped one of them would kill me and so I drank more.

There were no stories like that. I didn’t feel like I could tell them either. I needed a lot more help than a 12 Step Meeting could provide. I just didn’t know it yet. It would take several more years to figure it out.

Mental illness coupled with self-medicating is one of the hardest things in life you will ever go through. If you actually get through it I’m proud of you because it’s a Hell of journey and not many of us make it. It takes more than one or two relapses before you get it for some reason that’s just how it is. I’m here to say that if that happens don’t wast time beating yourself up. Ask yourself why? After that let it go and move forward. If you don’t you will keep repeating the same pattern.


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